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Blackfly Lodge Permit

It was one of those typical Bahamian days.  It was hot, a mild breeze and the ocean seemed to be very calm.  Tarpon were the order of the day so we trailered the skiff to Sandy Point.  My guide was renowned Bahamian Clint Kemp part owner of Blackfly Lodge.  As I took the bow of boat, 10 weight fly rod in hand, I immediately went into hunt mode.

Being on the bow of a flatts skiff is a unique experience. Something happens to you as soon as you take your perch.  Silence is golden and you’re eyes turn into that of a hawk, scanning, searching for any signs of fish.  A flash, a push, the flick of a tail or dorsal fin, you and your guide are working together as a team to spot and present a fly to a fish.

With me on he bow, and Clint on the poling platform, we were hunting.  Some time passed and we hadn’t moved very far.  I was immediatley pissed off when I turned around to see Clint standing there, push pole over his shoulder and on his telephone.  “who the eff is he calling? We’re trying to do a tv show here.!”  I turned around to continue to scan the flat with growing frustration in my mind.  That’s when it happened.  “I think we have a shot at something special here.  You up for a bit of a run to Moore’s Island?  It’s about 20 miles away but we may have a shot at a permit or some big tarpon.”  I immediately felt horrible for being frustrated, Clint was simply checking the radar to make sure we could do the Moore’s run safely.  “Yes!!, lets go!”

So it was on.  We were in search of the infamous Blackfly Lodge Permit.  Permit are a very difficult fish to catch on fly.  They are extremely spooky and even more picky about what they eat. Some anglers go a lifetime, never landing a single fish.

This is exactly what happened that day.

We pulled up to a perfect looking flat and I took the bow of the boat.  Clint poled for about 2 minutes and spotted what looked like to be a permit a number of feet directly in front of us.  “12 o’clock,  you see the fish?”  “yes, I quietly indicated”

“Get it in the air, little more… Cast”

I place a cast within a few feet of the fish and she immediately pounced on it.  We came tight and the fight was on!  25 minutes into the fight, Clint was able to grab the permit by the tail and show it to the camera.  We caught the first permit I’ve ever seen on the first cast!  It was pure magic.

Clint then turned to me, with huge congratulations and told me to promptly “eff off.”  Laughing, we shared a pull of Pilar rum from his mickey, shook hands and said goodbye to my first and only Blackfly Lodge permit.

That remains a very special fish and to this day, I have yet to catch another.